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Arcane Forest: Blogtour

Title: Arcane Forest Anthology
Author:
W.J. May, Chrissy Peebles, C.J. Pinard, Kristen Middleton, Karen De Havin, Kaitlyn Davis, Emma Shade, Kate Thomas & Natasha Brown
Publication Date:
March 19, 2015

Get Lost in Worlds of Fantasy and Awe

Read 9 different first books from 9 different Fantasy (romance) series. We hope you enjoy the books you are about to read and meet some new characters to love!

Note: Some of these books are part 1 and may end on cliff hangers.

Book 1 by W.J. May – Rae of Hope
Book 2 by Chrissy Peebles – Eternal Vows
Book 3 by Kaitlyn Davis – The Golden Cage
Book 4 by C.J. Pinard – Enchanted Immortals
Book 5 by Kristen Middleton – Wicked
Book 6 by Karin De Havin – Jin in Time
Book 7 by Natasha Brown – Fledgling
Book 8 by Emma Shade – Finding Obscurity
Book 9 by Kate Thomas – Resounding Truth

iTunes | Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

Author Bios

Kaityln Davis
Bestselling author Kaitlyn Davis writes young adult fantasy novels under the name Kaitlyn Davis and contemporary romance novels under the name Kay Marie. Always blessed with an overactive imagination, Kaitlyn has been writing ever since she picked up her first crayon and is overjoyed to share her work with the world. When she’s not daydreaming, typing stories, or getting lost in fictional worlds, Kaitlyn can be found indulging in some puppy videos, watching a little too much television, or spending time with her family.

Author Links:

Website | Facebook Fan Page | Amazon Author Page


Natasha Brown
Natasha Brown was born in Nevada City, California. Being an only child, she resorted to using her imagination while exploring the forest surrounding her home (a nasty habit she hasn’t been able to break). Her natural interest in fantasy ignited when her parents read The Hobbit to her as a youth, and from then on anything seemed possible. Once awarded with a Hershey’s bar ‘the size of a Buick’ in her high school English class for creative writing, her passion and interest in literature has never dimmed.

She now lives in Littleton, Colorado with her husband, two children, and two dogs.

Author Links:

Facebook | Twitter | Blog


CJ Pinard
A little about me – I’m a west coast native who has lived on both coasts and now lives near the middle, in Colorado! Coming from a family of writers and editors, I feel writing is in my blood and hope people will lose themselves for a little while in the fantasy and fun of my stories. I also love sweet red wine, the SF 49ers, and unlike most authors, I don’t have any cats. When I’m not writing, I can be found chasing around my kids or working at my day job, which I totally feel interferes with my real life, but it also gives me inspiration for my books, since reality is sometimes way more interesting than fiction.

I also love getting notifications that people have sent me an email, added me on (like page) Facebook or (friend page) Facebook or on Goodreads. So stop by and say hi – don’t be shy! I’m not! Email me at: cjpinardauthor@gmail.com

Author Links:

Find me: http://cjpinard.com/
Like me: https://www.facebook.com/CJPinardAuthor
Follow me: https://twitter.com/CJPinard


Karin De Havin
Karin De Havin is a historian, turned writer. Karin writes Young Adult fantasies as well as New Adult contemporary stories from her timber frame home in the Pacific Northwest. She lives with a pair of tuxedo cats that like to help her write by jumping on the keyboard, and her pianist husband who occasionally is known to wear a tuxedo and tinker with the keyboard too.

Follow the latest news about new releases at:
Karin De Havin website

Karin loves to hear from her readers.
Contact her on her Facebook Fan Page.


Emma Shade
Emma lives in Indiana with her husband and three crazy cats. She’s currently pursuing a degree in Visual Communications with Photography. When she’s not busy writing her next novel or doing college homework, Emma enjoys curling up with a good book.

Author Links:

Author’s Website


Kristen Middleton
Kristen Middleton lives in the Midwest and enjoys writing Horror and Fantasy, as well as Contemporary Romance. Since 2011, she has written over nineteen books, many which have been translated into other languages. Kristen also writes gritty biker stories under the pen name of Cassie Alexandra.

Author Links:
Facebook | Amazon | Website


WJ May
Wanita May grew up in the fruit belt of Ontario – St.Catharines. Crazy-happy childhood, she always has had a vivid imagination and loads of energy.

Wanita and her husband run an online business, dealing in antiques and collectables – particularly jewelry and porcelain (one of the business’ website: www.wadeincanada.com ).

Her first book, Rae of Hope – from the Chronicles of Kerrigan was a huge success and she’s gone on to write many more books. Check her out!

Author Links:

Facebook Fan Page | Website | Twitter

Newsletter:

SIGN UP FOR W.J. May’s Newsletter to find out about new releases, updates, cover reveals and even freebies!
http://eepurl.com/97aYf


Chrissy Peebles
Chrissy Peebles has always loved reading and writing fantasy from the earliest age she can remember. She lives in a busy city with her husband, two young kids, and three cats. Chrissy also loves to snap photos as her favorite hobby.

Author Links:

Facebook Fan Page


Kate Thomas
Kate Thomas, is the author of the upcoming Equilibrium Series, a five-book supernatural new adult series and The Resounding Series, an eight-book series, with plans for a few more series in 2015.

She is a CPA by trade, a church planter and entrepreneur at heart; however, writing and reading are passions she just can’t help but indulge in. With more ideas than one person should be allowed, she is blessed to have a muse that doesn’t seem to take a vacation and more energy that one might consider healthy.

She writes under the following pen names:
L.A. Starkey – Young Adult & Middle Grade Paranormal
Isabella James – Sci-fi/Fantasy

Author Links:

Goodreads | Twitter | Website | Amazon


Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This tour was organized by Good Tales Book Tours.

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Hubble, Bubble, Boil and Trouble

I was recently invited by NetGalley to review a book by Susan Boyer called Lowcountry Boneyard.

I read half the first chapter and realised that if I really wanted to understand the character’s motivations, reading book 1 was required, plus the reviews of book 1 were excellent and book 3 started well so off I went and bought book 1. Not a bad result for Susan!

Anyway, this is my review of book 1 which is called Lowcountry Boil.

Now what the title meant was interesting so I did some research. The area we are looking at geographically is the Charleston Low Country – ie the river delta and the offshore islands – of which there are several that appear in this book under pseudonyms. Not knowing the area at all I assume that we are reading something approaching reality and certainly from what I hear, the Charleston area is boiling hot in the summer so that is one possible meaning for the title. The barrier islands  vary in size and capability to support homes, many are just beaches and others are nature parks. The main islands seem to be: James Islands. Johns Island, Sullivans Island, Kiawah Island, and the Isle of Palms.

charlesislands

The unknown to me food I discovered when I read the book – the Lowcountry Boil is a speciality of the Islands called in the book ‘Stella Maris’ or Star of the Sea. According to http://charlestongateway.com/lowcountry-boil/ the boil was created by Richard Gay, of Frogmore, S.C., this one-pot wonder was used when this resourceful cook, a National Guardsman, needed to prepare a meal for 100 soldiers. This is a real mixture of ingredients according to the book and includes a combination of boiled smoked sausage, potatoes, corn and shrimp; seasoned with seafood boiled and cooked in a big pot. Crab, onion and butter are frequent additions. Ideally all the fresh summer ingredients of the area.

The other food specialities mentioned in the book include fried chicken, cabbage and collards, lima beans, okra soup and corn bread. This type of food is called Soul food or Gullah food. Gullahs being the slaves from West Africa who worked in the plantations and later settled in the Charleston low country. But all very fattening indeed…

The book has all the usual motivations for murder and corruption including:

  • Greed
  • Hate/love
  • Envy
  • Disappointment

There are several murders. Some blackmail. Lots of hidden motivations and secrets. A veritable boiling cauldron of seething emotions.

Great fun and 4 stars for sure..

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Keeping You Safe: Away from Harm?

A Review of No Other Darkness by Sarah Hilary: a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘keeping you safe’. Net galley review. 4.5 stars.

Keeps you wondering just what can happen next. Some notes about Post Partum Depression (PPD) follows – don’t read this if you are pregnant

  • For the mother, PPD may result in sleep disturbance, feelings of worthlessness, diminished concentration, recurrent thoughts of self-harm. Mothers with PPD can become withdrawn, socially isolated, and have difficulty caring for themselves and their children. Severe cases may feel helpless, despair and shame, even leading to suicide attempts.
  • The PPD can exacerbate her social isolation (which may also have contributed to its development in the first place). The birth of a child often entails leaving work, narrowing the mother’s social network.
  • Postpartum depression can also significantly strain relationships within the family, and is associated with the father developing a depression or other psychiatric problems (Condon, J. Australian Family Physician 2006;35(9):690).
  • http://www.med.uottawa.ca/sim/data/Depression_postpartum_e.htm
  • No one single cause of PPD has been identified; a number of biological (e.g., hormonal changes), social and psychological factors have been implicated. Plausibly social, psychological and biological factors need to be linked in a causal chain.
  • Puerperal psychosis is more severe and involves fluctuating extremes of elation and depression with delusions and hallucinations. This rare condition may affect about .01% and requires extensive medical intervention.

Looking at the issues highlighted in this book and the evidence presented about the mother it is clear that this is not a normal case of post partum depression but rather puerperal psychosis. (I checked this with my handy clinical psychologist just to be sure that I was identifying everything correctly.) Puerperal psychosis can be associated with late onset bi-polar and in this book we see a dissociative personality split – the before and after of the behaviour and person. We also see a mother who is unable to set and keep to appropriate boundaries.

One major issue highlighted in this book is the lack of support for the husband who does not reach out himself. Whilst there are a number of online support groups for the husbands of wives suffering from PPD there seems to be little intervention from health care officials for these husbands. Additionally, most of the internet support groups are aimed at wives whose husbands are not sufficiently supportive. Many husbands do not know how to be supportive of their wives.

What happens though to the self-worth and emotional and mental health of a husband whose wife actually kills a child /children through PPD is seems to have very little written about. They are survivors and must suffer survivor guilt as well as the guilt that comes from not keeping their children safe from their wives. The depression must be severe and the over-compensation if they start a new family must be expected though as in this case, if this mental over-compensation – obsession is not dealt with then it can in itself turn into a form of mental illness with associated problems as is shown in this book.

The book threw up for me a lot of points – I shall write about the Thames and what lies under London in a different blog as it would take too many words to add to this review. But the book really gave me a lot to think and ponder about and to look into. One of my childhood-friend’s sister had PPD and was hospitalised with both children she bore, which must have been devastating for the family I now realise though at the time she was somewhat older than me, although living still in the same road – presumably now to keep close to her parents to look after the children whilst she was away.

This book raises so many good points that perhaps there is too much to think about? But it all links in so well and fits like a glove in the story which is told in such a way that the true horror only hits you part of the way through when you read the characters’ stories. Overall a well crafted novel and I look forward to reading more in this series.

 

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Springing through childhood

Springfield Road by Salena Godden

This unlike most of the books I read was not only non-fiction but also a memoir/autobiography written not by someone famous, or at least not very famous even though they do perform. In most ways this was a memoir about the childhood of what appears at first instance to be an ordinary girl. It is based largely around her memories of a house she lived in – in Springfield Road – hence the title.

She is the daughter of a quite famous white jazz musician who played with most of the bands and stars of his era and a black dancer – a go-go dancer at the time of their marriage.

salena1 salenagodden_8

She therefore has a mixed heritage, although it was her mother’s family who had most impact on her.

Her father deserted her mother when she was quite small – he was fairly typical I suppose of musicians of that time who were promiscuous and in many ways it is more surprising that he actually married her mother than that he left and had many affairs.

Salena now has a career as a poet and musician herself and her poetry often came through in this book as much of the text was quite lyrical. However, as this book was published by Unbound publishers – a sort of cloud-funding site for publication there was insufficient editing and this book needed a stronger line of story. It jumped around rather too much and was confusing. The first chapters were also off-putting and you needed to read well into the book to want to continue. Once you did, you got fascinated by, what for me, was not reminiscent of my childhood and foreign to me as I lived in a very different area of the country – a ‘safe’ London suburb where we ran riot in our cul-de-sac and each other’s houses. Another difference is that she was always looking for her father, and believed as a child, he would come home to her soon. As a child I lost my mother to an illness and so knew she never come home to me.

Memory of childhood is often patchy and yet Salena’s seemed very strong indeed and you just wonder how much was filled in by guess or desire when memory missed. Certainly her family helped her a lot, but again our memories are skewed by what we want to believe. Can we really remember everything? Especially what it was like to be a child? The racial issues that she would have encountered then must have been ones that remained strong in her memory though as such a mixed marriage was rather uncommon in the 1970s though it was becoming more common it’s true.

I was given the opportunity to read this book through the website for women called forbookssake which specialises in encouraging female authors.

Salena says about her book:

Springfield Road is a journey into childhood. My childhood, maybe your childhood too. I set out to capture a snapshot of the seventies, a world without health and safety, a time of halfpenny sweets, fish and chips in newspaper, cassette tapes of the Sunday night top ten, scrumping apples and foraging for conkers, through the eyes of my child self.

It is the memoir of our family home on Springfield Road in Hastings, but it is also a memoir of the journey I took writing this book. These are my memories of my attempts to understand the beauty, the brutality and the contradictions of the adult world; why my Irish jazz musician father mysteriously disappeared from our lives; how my mother’s transitions from her Jamaican girlhood to her teenage dreams to represent Britain in the Olympics, to her life as a go-go dancer and then single-parenthood affected us all. It’s about discovering that life is unfair and that parents die. Its also about seeking the good in the world, the humour and the tenderness, this book is not a misery memoir.

Springfield Road is peppered with daydreams, a poetic and universal child’s eye view from the cracks in the pavement to the faces in the clouds. This book is a salute to every curly-top, scabby knee’d, mixed-up, half-crazy kid out there. We had afros, we had free school dinners and hand-me-downs.

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What do words taste of?

Had a stunning lunch out at the Westbourne Grove Food Incubator.

It was part of a series of educational and multi-sensory dining events and was called Synaesthesia and was run by Kitchen Theory.

It was a 3 course lunch with Amuse Bouche although a seven course dinner is also available.

Now Synaesthesia is an interesting trait that some 4% of the human population have. It involves people associating sounds with flavours or colours or…the definition is:

the production of a sense impression relating to one sense or part of the body by stimulation of another sense or part of the body.

 Now we all do this to some extent in that we talk of a ‘warm’ colour or a ‘cool’ colour and also we associate certain colours with particular tastes. So a green drink could be expected to be bitter eg a lime flavour (no sugar!) or a red drink could be expected to be sweet. However, for some people it is rather more extreme-for them certain words could be a taste.

James Wannerton, President of the UK Synaesthesia Association, has visited every tube, DLR and Overground stop on the network and described what the station name tastes like to him.

tube map

 

The dining experience we had incorporated sensory audio-visual aids and the collaboration of knowledge from academic experts. We were shown a number of videos explaining what we were doing and what to expect. We were also given a block to play with – each side of the block was a different texture and it seems that touching one side of the block can impact your taste. Personally, I used the block to feel what the food tasted like. For instance the soup course was a velvety felt with several layers of touch available as the tastes were very complex yet soft even though it seems that there was some umami tastes and some chilli oil included too.

Kitchen Theory has worked with Professor Charles Spence and his team at the Cross Modal department of Oxford University, Sean Day, President of American Synesthesia Association, and Richard E. Cytowic, MD MFA, Neurologist and author of ‘Wednesday is Indigo Blue’ to understand this phenomenon and deliver an informative and interactive dining event of sensory discovery.

The founder and Chef Patron, Jozef Youssef, has combined his experience of working at some of London’s top restaurants such as Helene Darroze at the Connaught, The Dorchester Hotel and the Fat Duck together with incorporating modernist cooking methods from his book ‘Molecular Gastronomy at Home.’

So did we enjoy this experience? Answer simply – very much indeed! And would do it again with one of our children – possibly our psychologist daughter who would love the exploration of taste and food and its links to the cognitive senses.

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